Trick-or-treaters love candy! This makes them happy, right? Not exactly. The order of receiving candy effected kids’ satisfaction.
A study done by George Wolford, a psychologist at Dartmouth College, on Halloween night found some interesting results. In this study, some trick-or-treaters were given a candy bar. Other kids were given a candy bar and then a piece of bubble gum.
The kids that got the candy bar first and the bubble gum (a lesser treat) second were less happy with their candy than the kids who got just a candy bar.
“Those children that got both the full-sized candy bar and the bubble gum second, rated how delighted they were to get these treats lower than those people that got the candy bar only,” Wolford says.
So, what do these findings have to do with Coaching? It actually comes down to the order in which these things happen. Studies show that what we remember is how the experience ends (ie. disappointment with the lesser treat).
In using the COACH Model®, we end our coaching conversations with Highlights. I have found in my own experience as a coach the absolute value of having the coachee reach back into their experience of the coaching session to identify a highlight. It is a powerful, crystallizing moment that gives them a take away, beyond their action steps.
If what people really remember is how the experience ends, then research supports the power of utilizing the Highlights element of the COACH Model®.
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